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DEPRESSSSED

December 13, 2007


We watched a lot of Dirty Projectors videos lately and it made us think about appropriation. The last thing we’re ever invested in is any made up notion of authenticity, and they’ve shredded and mushed up the common idea of a cover. After the jump, read some deep shit about this and watch four different versions of the song "Depression," three by Black Flag with three different singers and one by Dirty Projectors.


If Dirty Projectors made Rise Above based on Damaged then (some of) their songs are further from the source material. We don’t know who wrote the lyrics to “Depression” originally, (was it Keith Morris? Dez?) but it wasn’t Rollins, and it creates a passed on multiplicity from first version(s), to Rollins/Damaged version to Dirty Projectors version. That evolution, seemingly, is one only of lyrics, Dave Longstreth says he wrote Rise Above from memory, piecemeal remembrance of the lyrics from his teens. He never mentions the music, and from listening to the album there is certainly a dearth of musical influence. Greg Ginn's guitar style may be ever present, but there's no specificity in that lineage, just the general loosey-goosey blink-blonk they both open into the guitar ether. Rise Above lists Greg Ginn in the thank you list, not Rollins, Damaged’s cover star and mouthpiece, and not any other Black Flag singer. So, while seemingly the only string from Damaged to Rise Above is the lyrics, Rollins is absent from acknowledgment, removed from the process again. Is he just an empty conduit, singing someone else's words and passing them pollination-style elsewhere through kinetic energy and pure power? Where is the place of the music of Damaged and the coalescence that Rollins brought to the band, a nebulous thing of influence and inspiration, a solidification of leadership. It's an opinion, surely, but we think the Black Flag of Damaged is really the Black Flag of perfection, so what if the words weren't his to start; he owned them most. And Longstreth, his Black Flag, by another name or not, isn't so bad, either.
















DEPRESSSSED